23mm NS-23 autocannon.
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The NS-23 is a World War 2 era autocannon of Soviet origin. It was developed during World War 2 for aircraft use. It was to replace the earlier VYa-23, which was powerful but had a heavy recoil and low rate of fire. In turn the NS-23 was replaced by the more reliable and faster firing NR-23 in the late 1940's.
The NS-23 is a single barrel belt-fed autocannon. The design is similar to the larger caliber NS-37 and uses the short recoil principle. The NS-23 fires the 23x115mm round, which was specifically developed for this weapon. Compared to the VYa-23 the faster firing NS-23 has a more controllable recoil and both gun and ammunition are about half the weight.
The NS-23 fires the 23x115mm round at a cyclic rate of fire of about 550 rpm. Combined with more manageable recoil effectiveness against aircraft and ground targets is improved. Only against armored ground targets the lighter ammunition and lower velocity ammunition is less effective. Depending on the mount 75 to 150 rounds are carried per gun. Commonly used ammunition types are armor piercing incendiary (API) and high explosive incendiary (HEI) with impact fuse.
The NS-23 was used in the later stages of World War 2 and some of the early jet aircraft. Piston engine fighters with NS-23 include La-9, La-11 and Il-10. Jet aircraft include Yak-15, Yak-17, MiG-9 and early model MiG-15. Some armed reconnaissance variants of the Mi-2 developed in Poland are armed with a NS-23.
The NS-23 was replaced in production by the more reliable and faster firing NR-23.
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